They often ask me “How do you become a man?” and I say “I have one thing, I don’t try to become a man; I try to become the character. To try to become butch is ridiculous. Don’t do that! If you know who you are playing and if you see him as someone you recognize on the street – it could be anyone, Ruggiero, anyone. Learn to feel what they feel; learn to do what they do. Make your body… John Tomlinson told me a very good trick: to lower the center of gravity, because women control their walk from their waist, he said, and he is quite right. When they walk they hold themselves a bit from the waist because it gives them a sense of elegance with the high heels. That’s why their center of gravity is in their stomach. Men’s center of gravity is in their hips and their groins. They walk and they swing their hips a bit, and it comes more from their hip joints, and it is quite true. He said, “When you are playing guys, just be aware not to control your upper body, but to let your hips dictate how you move.” We’ve often done this in master classes in colleges. I don’t tell them what I’m doing, and I pick a guy and say “walk” and they get embarrassed, of course. But then I show them, and we often do these walks. Sometimes we end up looking stupid, like John Wayne, and I say “No, that’s going too far.” But it’s interesting, it’s the only thing that I’m aware of when I play male roles, is that I lower my center of gravity, but the rest is here in the mind.
Interview with English mezzo Sarah Connolly, known among other roles for her Giulio Cesare at Glyndebourne released on DVD and blu-ray disc.
Scroll down for the questions — this article is really in-depth!
One of my favorite quotes from this interview:
SC: “I think looking back what made me understand my reason to be a singer – and I say this now in master classes in conservatories in London – is that you have to know why you are singing a piece of music. If it’s just a vanity project, it’s quite dull, because you could just be singing because someone said you have a pretty voice. Well, so very well, but ultimately audiences will drift to somebody who gives something of themselves, some interesting interpretation.”
Barbara Bonney sings Servilia’s “S’altro che lacrime” from Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito
Grahaming, the comedy act.
Best quote: “Then she reminded me that she’s never even been a girl onstage with me.” -Fleming about Graham
First some stand-up, then “Ah, guarda, sorella” from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte